Category Archives: Fellows’ Library

New staff: Harry Wright

Several college libraries in Oxford take part in the Bodleian’s training scheme for graduates (of any university) intending to become professional librarians. The fourth trainee at Jesus College is Harry Wright, who wrote the following piece for the Oxford Libraries … Continue reading

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December 2015 Book of the Month: Tomus quartus omnium operum by Martin Luther (1552)

This volume forms part of Martin Luther’s complete works, which collectively had a profound impact on the German Reformation. Published around the time of his death, the collection displays the range of genres Luther adopted: Biblical translation and commentary, sermons … Continue reading

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October 2015 Books of the Month: Partridge’s The Treasurie of Hidden Secrets (1633) and Read’s The Manuall of the Anatomy or Dissection of the Body of Man (1655)

These books illustrate some of the range of medical publications in early modern England. Read’s work attempts to distil anatomical concepts, while Partridge’s Treasurie is a cheap, popular household manual of ‘kitchen physic’ and culinary recipes. Their intended readerships vary … Continue reading

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September 2015 Book of the Month: A Table of Humane Passions by Nicholas Coeffeteau (1621)

This book discusses the passions (or emotions), a key concept of early modern moral philosophy. The title-page depicts the passions as allegorical figures in mannered poses, holding emblematic objects such as Hope’s anchor. Despite their abstract portrayal, the passions were … Continue reading

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August 2015 Book of the Month: Steganographia by Johannes Trithemius (1606)

Steganography, in modern usage, is the art of concealing a message – not just concealing its content, but disguising that a hidden message exists. Appropriately, although this book appears to offer instructions for magical communication with angels, it conceals a … Continue reading

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July 2015 Book of the Month: Several essays in political arithmetick by William Petty (1699)

Sir William Petty was a pioneering economist with an inquisitive mind. He went to sea as a cabin boy; as a young man, he patented a device for ‘double writing’; and aged twenty-seven, he was appointed Professor of Anatomy at … Continue reading

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June 2015 Book of the Month: Acts and Monuments by John Foxe (1632)

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, as this work is popularly known, is an ambitious adaptation of the Catholic martyrology. Foxe portrayed executed English Protestants as successors to a line of true martyrs going back to the early Church. Affecting and gruesome … Continue reading

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